The Rancho Trailer Manufacturing Company and factory was founded in Salt Lake City in 1958 by LeVern G. Miner.....
The very first unit (a basic camper shell) rolled off the line and went to Ogden, Utah on Nov. 13th, 1958.
From there, Rancho built shells, cab-over campers, and travel trailers.
In 1962 the company moved the factory to Nephi, Utah (interestingly it happened on Halloween Day!).
In Nephie factory the units started to be called “El Rae”.
In the early years (1958-1967), every travel trailer had the point on the front and the “shark fin” type thing on the back (if it doesn't have it, it's been removed by the owner). Another speciality with the Rancho trailers is that the accent stripe on the side of a Rancho is unique to the year that it was built.
Rancho also tried to build in other distinctive identifying marks for its cab-over camper and a travel trailer. For example they have been placing some kind of proprietary marks on the bottom side of stoves to clearly identify them as belonging to Rancho.
1967 Rancho "El Rae" trailer
Later on at Nephi factory the Company started producing a more affordable new model “GayWay”. It was named after the founder LeVern G. Miner’s daughter Gayle. Unfortunately after only a few were made, they were discontinued. It turned out that dealers judged that this name was a terrible choice and forced the company to stop its production.
Subsequently Gayle bought the company from her father when he retired in 1966.
At the time when Rancho began to build larger travel trailers, the National Parks came out with the law prohibiting the entrance of “anything” longer than 22 feet.
As the answer Rancho's tried to “camouflage” the real length by adding an extra digit to serial numbers, fudging them a bit… When Rancho would build a 22'+ travel trailer, instead of the serial number being something like 22-_-YR, it would be 215-_-YR (21.5 feet)
In final years, the company was moved to Los Angeles, but was shut down in 1988, never producing a single L.A. unit.
1967 Rancho El Rae
As almost everything in those times – Rancho El Rae was a small, modest trailer tailored for the needs of an average American family. Its towing weight of about 1700 lbs tells it all.
The main bed was located on the back of the trailer; during a day it was easy to convert it to sofa. The area under the bed served as the storage space adding to overhead lockers and cabinet. Dinette was located at the front of the trailer. Multi-function burner stove, ice box refrigerator and the sink made up the kitchen galley located between the front and the rear part of the trailer.
The front and rear windows were big and wide, additionally each sidewall has two more windows. As the result, daylight was easily penetrating into the trailer. The front side of the trailer was curvaceous while the back was more angular like a box.
Because of the many conveniences thoughtfully provided in the small interior, Ranch El Rae trailers were always popular as cosy little campers.
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